There are a few things you can do yourself to help prevent problems with your furnace this winter.
Make sure you have clean air filters. It’s best to replace air filters once a month. A dirty filter will starve your furnace of air, make it use more energy, and could even cause damage.
During extremely cold weather, don’t turn your thermostat down at night or when you are away for the day. If you have any water pipes near the perimeter of the house, it won’t take long for them to freeze when the temperature drops into the low teens or lower.
Speaking of thermostats, if you have a digital one, replace the batteries once a year. Your furnace or boiler may not run if the batteries are weak.
If you heat with fuel oil or propane, check the fuel level. If you are near a quarter tank level, call for fuel delivery and fill it up. Tank gauges are not 100% precise and you could run out of fuel before it looks empty at the gauge.
If you have air intake pipes or vent exhaust pipes coming out the side of your house, make sure they are not blocked in any way, including snow or ice.
And it’s always best to have a professional inspector clean your furnace or boiler yearly. Many companies respond first to their regular furnace tune-up customers, and may not be able to get to you when you really need help. So, find a company you can trust and sign up for their yearly tune-up or maintenance plan.